Coming off his war with Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania 32, Brock Lesnar has embarked on his spring sabbatical from WWE. But upon his return to the ring, it is imperative he reclaim his status as WWE's premier attraction.
While still without a doubt one of the biggest stars on the current WWE roster, Lesnar has lost much of his mystique since returning to the company in April 2012, even compared to this time one year ago. Despite losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31, fans were excited to see him chase the championship and ultimately get his hands on Seth Rollins.
Now, his character lacks motivation. As noted, Lesnar pummeled Ambrose in a rather disappointing No Holds Barred Street Fight at WrestleMania earlier this month. The Beast Incarnate was the right winner, but both men are worse off by how that bout was booked.
Ambrose appears to be on the rebound given his recent program with Chris Jericho, but there's nothing for fans of Lesnar's to look forward to when he comes back in a few months. For the first time in years, there is no clear direction for him in the immediate future.
Furthermore, the questionable placement of his match at 'Mania showed officials don't see Lesnar as an important priority at the moment, but thankfully, there are ways he can regain momentum following his fall from grace.
The most obvious answer to the Lesnar dilemma would be to pair him with an opponent who can bring the best out of him. His greatest work in the last four years has come in matches against the likes of John Cena, CM Punk and other top-tier talent.
Lesnar's feud with Ambrose had the potential to be phenomenal, but The Lunatic Fringe never once looked like a legitimate threat to Lesnar, so fans were unable to suspend their disbelief when Ambrose was on offense during their match.
He has already run through a majority of WWE's most notable names, and those who he hasn't faced yet are hardly credible (i.e. Sheamus, Rusev). A rivalry with Randy Orton, however, is surprisingly something fans have never seen before, save for a one-off encounter on SmackDown in 2002.
Orton is due back from injury within the next few months, so Lesnar vs. Orton as a marquee match on the SummerSlam card is certainly a possibility. According to Wrestling Inc (h/t F4WOnline), Bray Wyatt has been rumored to face Lesnar at the event based off their interaction at WWE Roadblock last month.
If Wyatt can be built back enough to mean something again, a match with Lesnar would be beneficial for both men. The brutal brawls the two could have would undoubtedly ignite a fire in Lesnar that hasn't been seen since his battles with The Undertaker.
Another option would be to reinsert him in the title picture and give him something worth fighting for. That would ensure Lesnar would be prominently featured on WWE TV this summer season and see him rekindle his rivalry with Roman Reigns, with whom he has unfinished business.
If you can recall, Lesnar received his rightful title rematch at Battleground 2015, but he had his championship aspirations thwarted by Undertaker. He once again fell short of victory at the Royal Rumble thanks to The Wyatt Family and wasn't pinned in the No. 1 contender's Triple Threat match at WWE Fastlane.
On that note, he hasn't been pinned or submitted since WrestleMania 29, where he was beaten by Triple H in a No Holds Barred match. No one has been able to slay The Beast Incarnate, and the question to be asked is who, if anyone, is worthy of the honor.
As the man who did the unthinkable in handing The Deadman his sole loss at The Show of Shows in 2014, Lesnar should feel significantly more special than he does at the moment. He remains a major attraction for WWE, but he is worth more than how he has been utilized as of late.
The coming months will be crucial for Brock Lesnar, as they will determine whether he can reclaim his spot in the upper echelon of the card as WWE's most magical, must-see Superstar.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.